Warren County football Coach David Daniel has decided to retire so he can focus on his recovery. (WRDW-TV / Aug. 22, 2012)
News 12 at 6 o'clock / Wednesday, August 22, 2012
WARRENTON, Ga. -- David Daniel may look a lot better, but the pain is still there.
"It's hard right now. I'm going to be honest, it's tough right now," Coach Daniel said.
The doctor appointments continue lining up, too. Many are for his excruciating headaches.
"I get real bad headaches. My head hurts really bad. By the middle of the day, I'm pretty much pounding," Daniel said.
Other appointments are for his reconstructed face, and now, he even sees a therapist to treat his post-traumatic stress.
"He's still David, but it has impacted him," said his wife, Rochelle.
She says the injury never really slowed Coach Daniel down. The Warren County High School head football coach was smashed in the face with a helmet during and all-out brawl between Hancock Central and Warren County players last October.
But now, he'll have time to rest and recover. He has retired as head football coach of Warren County High School.
"Right now, he doesn't feel he can be 100 percent, and he's not going to be anything but 100 percent," his wife said.
"If he were my husband or my dad or anything, that's what I would want him to do -- take care of himself first. That's what he needs to do," said Warren County Schools Superintendent Carole Jean Carey.
Carey says they have not decided on a new coach, but she says Daniel's shoes will be tough to fill.
"Yesterday, after he talked with the guys, they were sobbing. We all started crying," Carey said.
If you ask Daniel if he has a "legacy" as a coach, he laughs, but after reflecting on all the young men and women he's impacted over the years, the coach gets a little more emotional.
As for penalization, it was announced in May that Hancock Central High School is being placed on "severe warning status" for the next two football seasons. If they sustain another sportsmanship violation, there will be more serious penalties.
The school has also been told to write a written security plan to the association, which needs to be submitted by July 15. This plan will include plans for both football and basketball games.
Hancock Central is also charged with fines for failing to exercise reasonable institutional control when the fight broke out, failing to have adequate school supervision and failing to appropriately discipline the one or more players who are said to have struck Daniel during the brawl.
This decision was appealed by the administration of Hancock Central and a GHSA Appeal Board unanimously denied that appeal.
Warren County is still scheduled to play Hancock Central this season. That game is scheduled for Sept. 28. Carey says the district is working with Hancock County to develop a security plan.
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